REES & NRTA Overview

Posted Jan 25, 2012

NYCHA’s Office of Resident Economic Empowerment and Sustainability (REES) offers an array of job training opportunities and placement assistant for NYCHA residents. Services include developing your career plan, referrals to vocational training in construction, building maintenance, health care, information technology, and in many other fields. REES also offers referrals to English as a Second Language (ESL) & General Equivalency Diploma (GED) classes.

The NYCHA Resident Training Academy (RTA) provides employment-focused training and job placement assistance to NYCHA residents in the construction, janitorial and pest control fields. The RTA works with successful graduates of the Academy to become successfully placed into jobs at NYCHA as Caretakers and Pest Control Technicians, and with NYCHA contractors in construction-related positions. The RTA is designed not only to prepare trainees for entry-level employment but to assist in developing career plans that will lead to promotions and increased wages. The RTA is a collaboration among the NYCHA, Robin Hood, Brooklyn Workforce Innovations (BWI), Nontraditional Employment for Women (NEW), Center for Family Life (CFL), the New York City College of Technology, and St. Nicks Alliance.

To attend a REES information session and to learn more about NYCHA’s Resident Training Academy, please call 718-289-8100.

Redevelopment of Prospect Plaza underway

Posted Jan 18, 2012

Former residents of the Prospect Plaza development in Brooklyn are excited to see that the New York City Housing Authority is moving forward with the redevelopment plans. The Request for Proposals has gone out, the developer is expected to be chosen this year and construction is anticipated to start in late 2013.

“Before there was a lot of talk and now I see that they are moving forward,” said Joseph Hayes, a former resident of Prospect Plaza after the latest update meeting held at the Van Dyke Community Center in Brooklyn on January 11. “I feel that they are moving in the right direction.”

In 2003, the development was vacated for rehabilitation as part of a HOPE VI Revitalization Plan sponsored by NYCHA and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. In 2007 the project was suspended after it was determined that it was financially infeasible to renovate the towers. NYCHA went back to the drawing board and with the input from former residents and community stakeholders developed the Re-Vision Prospect Plaza Community Plan in June 2010. The Plan calls for the demolition of the remaining vacant towers, construction of new mixed-use buildings with public housing and affordable housing units, ground floor retail space, and a community center.

“It’s been a long road but it seems now that things are moving in a positive direction,” said former Prospect Plaza resident Arnold Pierce. “I look forward to the new apartments.”

The RFP, issued jointly by NYCHA and the Department of Housing Preservation and Development calls for the design, construction and operation of a mixed-use development that will result in a minimum of 80 NYCHA public housing units and approximately 280 affordable housing units for a total of at least 360 new housing units along with ground-floor retail, community facility space and open space. NYCHA and HPD will select a developer by fall of 2012 and expects pre-development to begin shortly thereafter.

The project will be developed in three phases. The public housing units will be included in the first two phases, expected to be completed in 2015 and 2016 respectively. The third phase, which includes the community center and ground floor retail space, should be completed in 2017.

“I thought this meeting was going to be more of the same, but now that I see this new plan and what NYCHA is doing, I’m thinking of coming back,” said Sabrina Williams, a former resident.

Former residents and any new applicants who choose to return to the new development will have to undergo a credit check as part of the application process. In an effort to help residents prepare to return to the new development once built, NYCHA is offering free credit counseling services to former residents through non-profit groups Credit Where Credit Is Due and the Brownsville Partnership. Many residents are already taking advantage of this opportunity.

By Zodet Negron

January 12, 2012

Click here to see article.